Celtic will be unseeded in Europa League knock-out draw

Motherwell v Celtic – Betfred Cup Final – Hampden Park

After beating Anderlecht 3-0 in September, Celtic are now in a strong positon to finish third in their group and qualify for the Europa League.

In the round of 32, the four third-place finishers with the best records in the UEFA Champions League group stage will be seeded along with the 12 UEFA Europa League group winners.

Celtic defender Scott Brown echoed Rodgers' sentiments and said it had been a tough night for his team, who saw Anderlecht dominate the first half before going ahead after the break.

"We couldn't keep the ball", Rodgers said. I was thankful to get in 0-0 at half time and second half we were better.

"Our aim at the beginning of this competition was to get through to the Europa League stage, so there's vast pride at doing that".

"There is vast pride but it is hard to feel that when you have lost".

"But we have a lot of work to do at this level, but we can look forward to the Europa League in February".

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"Some of our players have a long way to go before they can call themselves players at this level. But we've shown over the course of this campaign that we can be better".

Anderlecht were the better team this evening though and Jozo Simunovic's 62nd minute goal was the difference.

"We were the fourth seeds in this group and there won't be too many of those who have jumped up into third place and got through". Some of the players were short in their decision-making and we were not so good.

Anderlecht boss Hein Vanhaezebrouck had conceded the odds were heavily stacked against his side but they nearly got one goal back in the third minute, Hoops keeper Craig Gordon forced into a fine save from midfielder Sven Kums who blasted in a cut-back from Henry Onyekuru.

The final stages were more about not conceding and there were sighs of relief among the green and white when Gordon parried a 25-yard drive from Anderlecht captain Sofiane Hanni, and with the Belgian side failing to find a second goal, the final minutes were less nervy. "It was quite quiet inside Celtic Park".

Fresh from thumping Motherwell 5-1 in front of their home fans, the Glasgow team will take plenty of confidence into the match.

"Yes, it was a little bit frustrating".

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